Afternoon Meeting for Mums

(19 Posts)
SusanPhilipps Wed 30-Jan-13 14:09:37

Hi everyone,

I am hoping to do some market research - I work for a 5 star hotel in Edinburgh City Centre and we are hoping to start an afternoon tea specifically aimed at mothers. We have a beautiful private lounge with comfy sofas and a cosy environment perfect for a relaxing afternoon tea to catch up with friends. We want to make this as mother/baby friendly as possible so I would love to hear of any feedback or advice you may have.

What day of the week would fit in your schedule?
What sort of budget do you have for a coffee/afternoon tea catch up?
What facilities are most important for your children - bottle warmers, toys, buggy storage etc?
Do you have an specific needs to breast feed comfortably?
Would a toddlers afternoon tea be of interest?

Thank you for taking the time to have a think and send me any feedback - it is all appreciated!

Take Care,


Edbabe Wed 30-Jan-13 14:27:40

Honestly, I think you run the risk of frightening all your other customers away. I don't think a 5 star setting is needed to get together with mums and tots for coffee. It's not an appropriate setting. Now, if you are offering a creche, that's different and I think it would be very popular. Just make sure timing does not clash with school pick up times. A lot of mums will have to be at the school gates between 3 and 4.

SusanPhilipps Wed 30-Jan-13 14:37:50

Hi Edbabe,

Thank you for your feedback. The area of the hotel I was planning on using is seperate from our other afternoon tea room and is a comfy lounge. I believe this would be appropriate as it is nice and private and we can offer a relaxing environment as well as delicious food etc. A creche isn't on the cards at the moment but it is something we have discussed in future expansions.


watchpeppa Wed 30-Jan-13 14:41:48

I actually think this is a great idea. I'm always trying to find toddler-friendly places for a cup of tea and catch-up with friends. The main priority is space for toddlers to run around. I sometimes go to a little church hall to meet other mums with little ones. It doesn't have loads of toys/activities, just one decent plastic slide, some mats, some books, some cuddly toys, some colouring-in stuff. The kids - probably up to about 4-year-old - play while the mums have a cuppa and a chat.

Different afternoons probably suit different people. Personally, a Friday would be great. Buggy storage probably is important and, for those with younger babies, probably bottle warmers. And of course a baby change. No specific requirements to breastfeed, other than a jug of water nearby.

Because of the luxury aspect (which would be such a lovely change from church halls and soft-play areas and high-street coffee shops) I would probably be prepared to pay up to, say, £8, especially if it was somewhere where you could happily spend a couple of hours.

Good luck. I think it sounds great. I miss a little bit of luxury!

Oh, the other thing that could be a bonus - though not easy in Ed city centre, I know - is access to parking.

Birthhippy9 Wed 30-Jan-13 14:49:23

Hi Susan,

I would say it's a very appropriate setting. Mothers with their children deserve a quality environment too and there isn't much out there just now. Creche as an aside would be super. Two hour drop off in the centre would be perfect. In answering your original question. A beautiful small area with play things surrounded by a wooden playpen style fence easily viewed from the seating area. Wooden toys of good quality that are kept clean would be preferable. From my POV bottle warmers wouldn't be needed. If seating is multidirectional (as in facing different directions) it can be helpful for new mothers who are less confident feeding in public and means they can pick a seat they find comfortable. Toddlers plate of veggie croutons eg carrot cucumber and homemade hummus can be popular. Fresh whole juices would be welcome. You could do small cakes and sandwiches with just one bite which can help keep the mess down and toddlers can eat and well as mothers. Would look amazing on the table too smile Babycinos smile I would say that if you create a lovely space for mothers and their friends to meet up then the children will grow up loving the place too smile

Birthhippy9 Wed 30-Jan-13 14:51:25

Oh and if it was a beautiful triple stand of tiny sandwiches and cakes with a drink for children and a good coffee for me I'd expect to pay £12-15 if the toys were good quality as well.

Birthhippy9 Wed 30-Jan-13 14:53:07

A good tip would be to get a Polti cleaner which would whiz up any mess and cleanse the toys in no time at all.

SusanPhilipps Wed 30-Jan-13 15:08:05

Hi MaytreeArch and WatchPeppa,

Thank you so much for your informative answers. Our afternoon tea is served on three tiered stands and is bitsized mainly with large scones and clotted cream, I was thinking of a mini version for children but with fruit and veggie playing a large role. I know my niece and nephews like to be the same as the adults when we are out. Fantastic feedback about the toys - a little 5 star luxury for the children. We also have two small flat screen televisions in the lounge which are attached to the walls so perhaps some childrens television if mothers request this.

To pick your brains how often would you say you meet with friends etc for coffee and catch ups?

Thanks again - i am hoping to have a launch afternoon too so i will keep you posted!


SusanPhilipps Wed 30-Jan-13 15:12:22

Polti Cleaner - i'll get onto google - many thanks!!! smile

watchpeppa Wed 30-Jan-13 15:23:21

The three-tiered stands with scones, plus mini-version for kids, sounds lovely. And I think MaytreeArch is closer on the price. £8 is probably a bit cheap for this, so £10 - £15 more reasonable.

For something like this, I reckon maybe I'd arrange to meet friends once a fortnight.

Birthhippy9 Wed 30-Jan-13 16:16:32

Once a week. I'm really glad to help. We need somewhere lovely smile

Instead of the tele (which may indeed discourage play with your lovely toys and influence the possibility of good conversation and ambeance) you could get a small table with mini chairs and crayons with those bulk colouring in sheets. Very easy to maintain. I think you can even get them in Ikea.

If you're one of the big hotels and you have room please consider the creche idea. Edinburgh is desperate for something like that. Even if it's just once or twice a week. If it's marketed properly it'd do well. Enable stay at home Mothers to get a bit of shopping done or use the spa facilities. smile

Birthhippy9 Wed 30-Jan-13 16:17:36

Melissa & Doug wooden toys are great. Ikea do nice ones too. Avoid cuddly toys as they can be difficult to keep clean

Edbabe Wed 30-Jan-13 18:39:29

Just be realistic as to the noise and mess level. It is debatable how "relaxing" it can be once you pass a certain number of participants. I think the sky is the limit price wise for the Edinburgh yummy mummies if you include a creche--or maybe several wiling helpers in the room. I agree that £10 mark is reasonable, or even a wee bit more. Good luck with it, it's an interesting idea.

emma12344 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:39:13

All this cloying 'mummy' based talk is exactly what keeps my partner and other stay at home/ working part time dads away from pre-school activities. He has often like an intruder on some cutesy cupcake ridden coffee morning. I wish people spoke more and aimed these things more at people, rather than 'mums'.

SusanPhilipps Thu 31-Jan-13 10:20:01


Thanks again everyone. Luckily we also have a very large beautiful spa - we do classes here such as baby pilaties etc and lots of treatments for mums to be and mums needing so me time! I would be able to use this for marketing and promote certain discounted offers.

I will update when I have decided on the date of our first afternoon and invite you all along smile


SusanPhilipps Thu 31-Jan-13 10:21:04

And of course if you think of anything else please let me know! smile

Charliebrown27 Thu 31-Jan-13 10:55:06

just to say i think it could do well - there aren't that many centrally located toddler friendly spaces and they can often be heaving.

SusanPhilipps Thu 31-Jan-13 11:25:05

Thanks Charliebrown27 smile

emma12344 Fri 01-Feb-13 17:30:48

So, Susan Phillips. You specifically say this is for mothers and children. Does this mean my stay at home partner who happens to have male genitalia is not allowed in?

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